(by Taylor Mims for Billboard) – Former First Lady Michelle Obama has been announced as a headliner for the 25th anniversary of Essence Fest of Culture in New Orleans. Obama will join already announced appearances from Mary J Blige, Missy Elliott and HER for the July 4-7 festival and conference.
“We are indescribably thrilled and honored to have ‘Forever First Lady’ Michelle Obama as a part of our 25th Anniversary ESSENCE Festival, which will mark our most exciting and extensive programming to date,” said CEO of Essence Communications Michelle Ebanks in a release.
The 25th anniversary event will be Obama’s first appearance at the festival and follows her successful tour in support of her memoir Becoming. Obama will sit down on July 6 at the Louisiana Superdome for an interview. In December, Obama graced the cover of Essence magazine and will contribute the monthly closing article, A Word, for the July/August issue.
Missy Elliot performs during the 2018 Essence Festival at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on July 7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Essence Festival 25th Anniversary: Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, H.E.R., Normani, Nas Set to Perform
“As inspiring and aspirational as it is relatable, Mrs. Obama’s story – told on her own terms – is a remarkable example and celebration of everyday Black women who accomplish extraordinary things, who confront challenges with courage and truth, and who remind us that all things are possible when we support one another,” added Ebanks. “Over 25 years, the Festival has done just that – becoming a cultural home for millions of Black women to honor, celebrate and engage each other in service and sisterhood, laughter and love, and empowerment and community.”
The 2019 Essence Festival presented by Coca-Cola is a one-of-a-kind epicenter and celebration of global Black culture and continues to reach new heights with a focus on economic inclusion, cultural ownership and community development. The Festival now attracts more than 500,000 attendees each weekend
Read the full story here.